[Just look at that peachy color! ]
Don’t you just hate it when your regular routine is disrupted? Well, maybe it’s just me. As a Libra, I tend to be perhaps a little too attached to routine consistency boredom equilibrium in my life (Libra is represented by the scales, after all). When the calm of a well-established pattern is disturbed, as it was last week, I’m thrown into a tizzy.
And just what horrific event occurred that turned my previously placid waters into choppy seas, you ask?
My treadmill broke.
Okay, maybe not so earth-shattering. But I was accustomed to walking for 45 minutes every morning on my treadmill, while watching my soap opera (multi-tasking at its best). Now, I’m forced to head to the workout club each AM instead (howdy, octogenarian couple with the matching T-shirts! How ya doin, Burly Guy who wears black dress socks? Nice to see you again, trainer with the too-revealing tank top!). Which means I haven’t watched my soap in over a week (I’m so far behind, in fact, that in my episodes Jack and Carly have only been married six times). Which means I’ve had to switch to an elliptical trainer instead of a treadmill (my quadriceps are barely hanging on for 20 minutes at this point). Which means I must wake up, wash my face, get fully dressed and drive to the club before I can even begin to work out.
Which, ultimately, means less time in the morning to do everything else I used to do. Like wrestle with The Girls. Like answer emails. Like cook and eat breakfast.
Like so many people in the world of food and health blogs, I read Angela Liddon’s Oh She Glows. I mean, who wouldn’t? It’s fun to read, Angela is an inspiration (she just completed a triathlon!), and (big points with me these days) she prefers to post recipes that are, to paraphrase her own words, quick, healthy, delicious–and contain only a few ingredients. Well, if that doesn’t just make my temporally-challenged day a little bit brighter!
Enter Angela’s seen-them-everywhere-on-the-blogosphere Banana Soft Serve Vegan Overnight Oats. The recipe is a staple on Angela’s blog (with a multitude of variations, such as peanut butter, cacao nib, carob, rice crisps and so on) and has made cameo appearances pretty much everywhere else, too.
And now it’s finally my turn to give these oats a try! Okay, so maybe I’m a little late to the party. But with this recipe, I was sort of like the dowdy bookworm who joins in with just a little sip of wine. . . and before you know it, she’s downed a half dozen glasses and is dancing on the tables. I went a little loco for these oats. Like the proverbial ACD-er in a pastry shop, I wanted to eat them all, and try out every varation I could get my hands on.
[Seriously, does that look irresistible, or what? Of course, you could serve this in a regular cereal bowl as well. But then it wouldn’t be as pretty.]
It’s no secret how much I love my baked steel-cut oats, and they will always hold a special place in my heart (and stomach). But these Banana Soft Serve Vegan Overnight Oats are perfect for a warm summer morning: light, refreshing, creamy and cold. . . in fact, it felt more like I was eating a dessert than a breakfast (always a good thing in my books).
Besides being ideal for the season (no cooking = no heating the oven = no sweating in the kitchen), the recipe also provides a substantial nutritional punch and will keep you feeling satiated for hours. Even though I normally find myself sniffing around the kitchen mid-morning for something to snack on (“Excuse me, Mum, but isn’t that our domain?”) , after one bowl of these, I was pleasantly full well past my usual lunch time.
Why did it take me so long to try these out? Blame it on the bananas. Since we ACD-ers aren’t permitted any “tropical” fruits (banana, mango, etc.), I had to come up with an alternative. I tweeted Angela a while back to ask if she had any suggestions for what I might use instead, and I settled on frozen berries. And so, my first version of BSSVOO made its debut:
Those were good, but I knew I could do better. Supporting the cause of the banana-phobic everywhere, I racked my brains to create a delectable and creamy Soft Serve worthy of the Overnight Oats moniker! One intriguing possibility was frozen pears (and while those would likely be delicious, we were all out–and I didn’t want to hold up the process of culinary creation).
Eventually, I decided, “yes!”, I would dare to eat a (frozen) peach–and tried that mixed with a few strawberries for color. The result was a visually stunning and tastebud-tickling parfait that provided one of the most enjoyable breakfasts I’ve had this year.
If you haven’t yet jumped on the overnight oats bandwagon, what are you waiting for? Hop right on. The recipe is super easy (ingredients stay in the fridge overnight; then layer–or not, your choice) and is a perfect way to consume seasonal fruits. Of course, if you’re able to enjoy bananas, go ahead and try it that way first. There’s always the rest of the summer for peaches. Or berries. Or pears. Or every single other fruit. Makes me glad I finally shook up that dull routine.
Peach (or other) Soft Serve Vegan Overnight Oat Parfait (ACD Phase II and beyond)
adapted from Oh She Glows
This is an easy and delicious way to treat yourself in the morning. When you wake up to a serving of these oats, you really will feel as if you’re eating something special.
For the Oats:
1/3 cup (35 g) gluten-free old-fashioned whole rolled oats (not instant or quick cook)
2 Tbsp (30 ml) chia seeds
1 to 1-1/4 cups (240-300 ml) plain or vanilla soy, rice, or almond milk
5-10 drops plain liquid stevia, to your taste
1 tsp (5 ml) cinnamon
For the Soft Serve:
1 medium peach, washed, pit removed, cut into chunks, then frozen solid
2-3 fresh or frozen strawberries
2 tsp (10 ml) fresh lemon juice
1 tsp (5 ml) fresh lemon zest (optional)
1 Tbsp (15 ml) coconut nectar OR 5-10 drops plain liquid stevia, to your taste
For the overnight oats, place all ingredients in a bowl and stir well. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight. (Note: Angela mentions that these can be ready in as little as 1.5-2 hours if you start in the morning, or if you’re desperate for a snack).
For the soft serve, place everything except the agave in a food processor and process until the mixture becomes crumbly. Sprinkle with agave and continue to process another 20-30 seconds until the mixture comes together in a ball and begins to soften. Take care not to overprocess, or it will melt too much and liquefy.
To assemble, alternate layers of the overnight oats and the soft serve in a bowl or glass. If you’re rushed (or lazy, like me), you can simply top the oats with the soft serve in a bowl and aim for a bit of each in every spoonful.
Optional toppings include cacao nibs, dried fruit, granola or puffed rice, or pretty much anything else you can think of that would complement the flavors. Serve immediately. Makes one very substantial serving. Recipe may be doubled.
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